Saturday, March 25, 2017

What I Learned This Week

It's been a while since I did one of these; way too long in my opinion. It's due to me not working on my novel as much as I should be. I'm getting back into it. This month, I've already done almost as much as I have the two months prior combined. Sometimes, the hardest thing is understanding why you're trying to sabotage yourself. Which is what I've been doing. Still, I'm looking forward to getting it done. Hopefully next month. I have signed up for Camp Nanowrimo and put myself down for 50 hours or whatever it takes for me to finish this novel. Hopefully, I'll have damn good news for you each week on it!

That's not what I actually wanted to talk to you about today, though. Today, I want to tell you about what I learned this week. I've been working on my edits and one of my characters is getting a lot more screen time than she was before. Unfortunately, her chapters have never come easily for me to write and these were getting to feel like I was pulling teeth.

About this time, long time blog followers will note something missing... I haven't said which character yet. No, that isn't me being coy at all. It's for a reason.

You see a name is important; very important. Especially for me. Even in my Pathfinder games, I will search for the right name for days, trying to figure out exactly what I want. I will search for names that have the meaning I want, that sound the way I want that name to flow. I look for names that resonate, not only for me but for them and the way they want to be portrayed.

Skylla isn't human, but she was human when she was born. She's a hunter by trade, and lonely by choice. But her name was wrong. It was a Celtic name meaning archer or some type of warrior... and while that's what she is too, it wasn't right. Skylla doesn't sound like a warrior's name. Also, she isn't Celtic. All of the characters from my book have names that we have in our world.

This week, I discovered that Skylla's human parents were from different cultures. Yet she wasn't named from either of those cultures. Searching both cultures I found two names that I quite liked. So I combined both names, not only into the meaning that suits her but into a name that suits her. Her name is now properly Isashi.

The interesting part of this was that it also led me to rename one other character. The name I had given to him was a name I love and one that was the name of a character in a book series I quite enjoy. But the name wasn't his, and due to its French connotations, it sounded like a girl's name. It was confusing most of my alpha readers, especially since that character isn't from a French background. I looked back to what his name originally was. It suited him better and the meaning suited him better. Even better, I found out that it was from the culture I wanted in that area. So, Jocelin is now Deckard.

What about you? Are you a sucker for names? Do you have trouble writing characters that are mis-named or is that by far, the easiest part of your writing process? Let me know, in the comments below.

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